Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1100 GMT, Aug. 12

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CANBERRA -- Two former Australian Defence Ministers have called for military leaders to be held to account over alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan.

Brendan Nelson who served as the defence minister between 2006 and 2007, was quoted by News Corp Australia on Wednesday as saying that "the guilty will be appropriately punished" if war crimes were committed. (Australia-War Crimes)

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HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's Center for Health Protection (CHP) reported 62 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 4,243.

The newly-reported cases were one imported case and 61 local infections, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the CHP's Communicable Disease Branch, told a media briefing. Among the local cases, 33 were related to previously confirmed cases and sources of the other 28 cases were unknown. (Hong Kong-COVID-19)

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NEW DELHI -- Rescuers in India's southern state of Kerala have so far retrieved 53 bodies from the debris of a massive landslide that buried a settlement of tea estate workers, officials said Wednesday.

"We are being told 82 people were there in the settlement when it was buried under a massive landslide. So far 53 bodies have been retrieved and 12 people were rescued alive," H Dineshan, district collector told Xinhua over the telephone from Idukki district. "Search for the remaining 17 is going on in full swing." (India-Landslide)

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JAKARTA -- The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 1,942 within one day to 130,718, with the death toll adding by 79 to 5,903, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

According to the ministry, 2,088 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 85,798.

The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces. (Indonesia-COVID-19)

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MANILA -- The number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippines surged to 143,749 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,444 new daily cases on Wednesday.

The DOH said that the number of recoveries further rose to 68,997 after it reported 636 more patients having survived the disease. (Philippines-COVIDE-19)

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SYDNEY -- The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious flaws in Australia's aged care system, and the lack of a specific plan to handle the virus may have cost lives, experts told a hearing into the aged care sector which wrapped up on Wednesday.

On the same day, officials confirmed a record 21 additional deaths associated with the virus, 16 of which were linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities. (Australia-COVID-19)

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ISLAMABAD -- Torrential monsoon rains have played havoc on Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province, killing at least 12 people and leaving thousands displaced over the last four days, local media reported on Wednesday.

Due to heavy downpour, over 865 houses were destroyed, and four roads and two flyovers were partially damaged, said officials in the province, adding that social and economic activities in several parts of the province were badly affected due to rainfall and urban flooding. (Pakistan-Rains) Enditem

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